i don't understand ♪ ♪ my reason to be brave [ cheers and applause ] >> jimmy: i want to thank rachel weisz. "nightline" is next. "all that echoes is out now. playing us off the air with the song "falling slowly." once again josh groban. good night. >> you're with somebody you love, cuddle them close. snuggle up. that's so sweet. ♪ i don't know you but i want you all the more for that ♪ ♪ words fall through me
tonight on "nightline," valentine's day murder? the shocking story of an olympic superstar charged with shooting his model girlfriend. was it a tragic mistake or a cold-blooded killing? the 3-d epic, over $100 million in the making. now nominated for 11 academy awards. tonight director ang lee talks about the long road to creating "life of pi." incoming, as earth braces for a historically close shave with a giant asteroid, we meet the scientists preparing for a real life deep impact.
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from new york city, this is ni "nightline" with cynthia mcfadden. >> good evening, and thank you for joining us. we begin with break news from alabama. it's a scene of joy and relief tonight, as the carnival cruise ship that lost power five days ago has finally reached port in mobile, alabama, are 4,200 people aboard. over the past few days, many passengers have sent messages describing nightmarish conditions. food shortages, lack of running water and sewage problems. tonight, frustrated passengers said the experience has been highly stressful, though many praise the boat's staff for doing their best under difficult circumstances. stay with abc news for all the latest. but for now, we turn halfway around the world to the shock
waves being sent by the arrest of famed olympian charged with murdering his glamorous model girlfriend in the wee hours of this valentine's day morning. >> reporter: oscar pistorius and reeva steenkamp were one of the world's hot couples. think david and victoria, or brad and angelina. but now, the paralympic superstar runner is accused of murdering his bombshell covergirl on valentine's day. >> paralympian oscar pistorius has been arrested for allegedly killing his girlfriend. >> reporter: early thursday morning, neighbors in his exclusive gated community heard commotion and gunshots. >> at this stage, we can confirm that a young woman, a 30-year-old woman did die on the scene of gunshot wounds. a 26-year-old man has been arrested and has been charged with murder. >> reporter: police say steenkamp was shot four times with a nine millimeter pistol. the murder shocked their fans around the world.
>> this is almost incomprehensible because oscar pistorius wasn't just someone celebrated for his feats on track. he is someone who is celebrated as a humanitarian, as a trailblazer, as a champion of the disabled. >> reporter: and reeva's career was just taking off. the perfect combo of beauty and brains, the law graduate regularly graced glossy magazine covers -- >> what did you expect? >> reporter: and was about the star in a reality tv show. she had been voted one of the world's 100 sexiest women by "fhn" magazine. here she is on a cover shoot posted on youtube. >> she was just a really vibrant personality and she had a really wicked sense of humor. she was a really great person, fun to hang out with. >> reporter: oscar was an inspiration, nicknamed the blade runner, this paralympic champion made history as the first double
amputee to compete in the olympics. he was living the dream, fame, lucrative endorsement deals like this one for nike. >> i kind of perceive myself not being able to grow up and do anything that other kids would be able to do. >> reporter: the couple started dating just a few months ago and seemed happy. early reports indicate that reeva may have sneaked into his home to surprise oscar on valentine's day and oscar fired, mistaking her for a burglar. reeva had tweeted just the day before how much she was looking forward to the holiday. what do you have up your sleeve for valentine's day? later adding, it should be a day of love for everyone, may it be blessed. but police were quick to make an arrest, indicating this wasn't the first time they had dealt with oscar. >> i can confirm that there has previously been incidents at the home of oscar pistorius. i'm not going to elaborate, but there have previously been
incidents. >> the fact that they're coming out, charged him and they're talking about previous domestic incidents, makes it pretty clear that they think that they know what happened there and they believe it was murder. >> reporter: pistorius not only love s speed and competition, h had a competition for guns and was a regular at firing ranges. he tweeted this picture of him taking a break from olympic training. the world saw oscar as a charming soft-hearted fighter, but those who knew him say he had a short temper and was off paranoid about his safety. south africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world. just a few months ago, pistorius tweeted about possible break-ins and how he would react. nothing like getting home to hear the washing machine on and thinking it's an intruder to go into full combat recon mode into the pantry. >> the defense can't just be i got it wrong. sorry.
the defense would have to be i got it wrong and here's why it was reasonable for me to have believed that there was an intruder in my home. >> reporter: but this isn't oscar's first run-in with the law, which likely won't help his case. >> in 2009, there was an incident where he slammed a door on the woman, allegedly, and he was arrested, charged with assault and spent the night in custody. however, he was released, the charges were dropped. >> reporter: he was a larry to millions, reaching olympic glory in london, competing alongside the world's fastest. >> a lot of people's time invested and efforts and a lot of my own sacrifices and hard work. >> reporter: tonight, oscar pistorius is no longer living the dream. his spokesperson says he is cooperating with police while the friends and family of his beautiful girlfriend are in mourning and the world is asking
why. next up, the 3-d masterpiece and oscar contender 11 times over. director ang lee talks about the four-year, $100 million journey that is "life of pi." music: "make someone happy" music: "make someone happy" ♪it's so important to make meone happy.♪.♪it's so e ♪make just one heart to heart you - you sing to♪ ♪one smile that cheers you ♪one face that lights when it nears you.♪ ♪and you will be happy too. [ male announcer ] every time you say no to a cigarette you celebrate a little win.
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film "life of pi." it was shot in locations around the world, including a specially designed water tank on the runway of an abandoned airport in taiwan. film has made over a half a billion dollars already, but the visionary director behind it tells me it almost never got made at all. for our series "oscar confidential." enter the world of oscar-winning director ang lee and be prepared for an incredible ride. >> he has to act like the tiger is three feet over his shoulder. >> nominated this year for his 3-d epic "life of pi." the cast, a teenager who had never acted before, and a tiger, both a real one and a digital creation, so expertly woven together that it's impossible to tell the difference. lee spent four years on this film, a year of it editing in this very room, obsessing over
every detail. >> is that real? >> it looks so real. it's not. you want to hug that tiger. >> you know this movie frame by frame. >> every pixel. >> the movie is the spiritual journey of a 16-year-old indian boy, hurdled into an amazing adventure when a ship wreck leaves him to fend for himself on a raft with the only other survivor, a bengal tiger. the two drift through the pacific with only each other and god for company. not exactly blockbuster material. you weren't initially going to do it, i read. you were hesitant. >> i was hesitant. it was a great read, very inspierg and mind boggling. just as a film maker, i didn't see it as a movie. >> but -- >> because of that it kept haunting me. >> his passion paid off. his film is up for 11 academy
awards, including his nomination for what could be his second oscar for best director. his first oscar came eight years ago for his tour deforce "brokeback mountain." >> it's a one-shot thing. >> it's nobody's business but ours. >> the oscar win topping off a string of hits from the tender british period drama of "sense and sensibility." >> the more i know of the world, the more i am convinced that i shall never see a man that i can truly love. >> to the pitch-perfect rendering of 1970s america in "the ice storm." >> i have a husband. i don't particularly feel the need for another. >> the masterpiece "crouching tiger hidden dragon "still ranks as the highest grossing foreign language film ever released in america. lee even dabbled in an action film with the unlikely "hulk." whenever your name is mentioned, people quickly say how does the
same man create such different worlds for us? >> i had a chance to talk to daniel day-lewis and he said the same thing to me. he said you know, you're really an actor. >> you keep changing. >> you know, most of the actors, i think they want to play many parts. >> i understand your parents wanted you to be a teacher. >> yeah, that's more acceptable than film maker. >> lee admits to not being much of a student in those days and to the humiliation that came with failing his college entrance exams. twice. >> i was always in shame that i could not focus on books and how the father was my high school principal. >> oh, that's painful. >> that was bad. so i really failed him. >> he ended up in acting school. >> and i fell in love with it and my life was transcended. >> he says his english wasn't good enough for acting. directing called. but even with all his success, his father withheld his approval. >> my father was saying, at this
rate, i think at your age of 50, maybe you'll win an oscar, maybe you can be satisfied and start to do something real. >> no! >> yes. >> when he decided to take this tiger by the tail, he told the studio it had to be big. a $100 million budget. is that right? >> more. a little bit more than that. well, it was like that. but then i had this idea to do 3-d. >> so another 25 million for the 3-d. >> yeah. >> so fox had to take a big gamble on you and on your vision for this film. the gamble paid off. i mean, you've now made over half a billion dollars. >> we didn't know. we carried that anxiety for a long time. once you get to the journey, you become the movie you're making. like pi himself, we're going through a journey across the pacific with a tiger. but we're still living, we're
surviving. you have to believe that it's going somewhere. >> my name is pi, i have been in a ship wreck. >> it's so ravishingly beautiful. >> divine. >> divine. >> that's what i was shooting it for. a divine moment. >> li couldn't resist letting me in on a few of the film's secrets. >> these are not real. >> none of this exists. except the rat is real. the rat is real. >> the rat is real? and is he holding that rat? >> yeah. he's holding a blue sandbag and throw it. >> when he's in the boat and when we see the film, we see the tiger with him. actually, there's nothing there, is there? >> no. i wish some shots i could put a tiger in there. we're not allowed. nobody would insure us. >> i read that you had to go and prove to the indian government that you hadn't actually abused a tiger. that you had to show them that it was cgi.
>> yeah, step by step. it's very hard to imitate god's work. >> how much do you want it this time? how much do you want the oscar for best picture? >> i want it because i'm captain of the ship. for what the movie stands for. what it meant to the world. for people who spent four years of their life devoting to this grand illusion. yeah, it would be great to win. and for that, i want it to be the best picture of the year. >> lovely man, and it just might happen. you can watch the academy awards right here on abc sunday, february 24th. look up. did you know a giant asteroid is hurdling towards earth right this very minute? meet the scientists who know just what to do. next. [ stefan ] with a cold or flu, nighttime nasal congestion
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>> reporter: on a sliding scale of things that may ruin your day, you may want to put this one on the top of your list. the asteroid is hurdling towards earth at a rate eight times faster than a speeding bullet. while it will miss, disaster won't be missed by much. it will graze the earth's atmosphere friday afternoon at about 17,000 miles out. >> remember, all of the satellites out there that give us our global positioning, that tell our iphone where we are, those are at 22,000 miles. so this is actually going to pass between the earth and the satellites that give us our directv every day. that's a close shave. >> hollywood loves this kind of thing. exhibit a, bruce willis's "armagedd "armageddon." but da-14 and others like it are no joke. which is why a trio of big brains from nasa, apole low 9
astronaut rusty schweker, rob lou and scott hubbard have become the astronaut hunters, launching their own mission to find an asteroid that are on a collision course with our world. >> this asteroid is important because it's a wake-up call that we should be looking out there. these things do hit the earth. >> reporter: the last near disaster was averted by pure luck. it was 1908 and a huge asteroid made a direct hit. fortunately into siberia, where a thousand miles of trees and wildlife were decimated. just imagine if the bull's eye were new york or chicago? >> if i very large asteroid were to hit, miles across, it would probably create the same kind of disaster that wiped out the dinosaurs. >> reporter: amazingly, no one knew da-14 was headed our way until a spanish dentist and amateur astronomer randomly discovered this grainy proof a year ago.
>> of all the asteroids that are out there that come near the earth and can do harm if they hit the earth, we only know 1% now. 99% of them, we don't even know where they are. >> reporter: as anyone who has seen "star wars" knows, calculating the odds of getting hit by an asteroid is no small task. >> the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to one. >> never tell me the odds. >> an asteroid like this actually hits the earth, in a typical person's lifetime, about a one in three, one in four chance. if i was to flip this twice, if i got heads twice, and there's another heads. sorry. we got smacked. >> reporter: the asteroid hunters are raising money to launch their own asteroid early warning system called sentinel, a dedicated infrared space telescope scanning the stars for threats. so what if they find one on a collision course. then what? the movie